President Trump said Monday that he may meet with Barbara Lagoa, whom he is considering nominating to the Supreme Court, when he is in Miami on Friday.
“I may. She is highly thought of,” Trump told reporters when asked if he planned to meet with Lagoa, a Cuban American and Florida native who is from Miami. “I’m getting a lot of phone calls from a lot of people. She has a lot of support. I don’t know her, but I hear she is outstanding.”
“She’s one of the people we are looking at,” the president continued.
Lagoa and Amy Coney Barrett, both of whom were nominated by Trump to serve in their current positions on the federal appellate bench, are said to be top contenders to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday.
Trump repeated Monday afternoon that he is considering a list of five women to nominate to replace Ginsburg. Trump said he has spoken with the candidates over the last few days and said he would meet “a few” in person. The president plans to announce his decision on Friday or Saturday, following Ginsburg’s funeral services.
Trump is scheduled to appear at a campaign rally in Jacksonville, Fla., on Thursday evening and is expected to be in Miami the following day. Trump has previously interviewed Barrett, whom he described as “very respected” on Monday, when searching for candidates to fill the vacancy that was ultimately filled by Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Trump also said he would “much rather” see the Senate vote on his nominee before the Nov. 3 election. Republicans have signaled they plan to move quickly on the nominee, though at least two GOP senators have opposed voting on the nomination before the election.
“I’d much rather have a vote before the election because there's a lot of work to be done,” Trump told reporters. “There’s a great deal of time before the election.”
Barrett, 48, is a former clerk for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.
Lagoa, 52, serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. Lagoa was the first Hispanic woman to serve on the Florida Supreme Court, a position to which she was nominated by GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Trump ally.